Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ugh, the Label of Soccer Mom

When my kids started playing soccer about 4 years ago, I never wanted to be referred to as a "soccer mom". Nope, not me, not interested. I just didn't like the label. It seemed so limiting. Until recently.


You see I have been carrying around an extra 120 pound weight on my shoulders since Tuesday night. Tuesday was a lovely spring night to be outside watching soccer. Mr. F, my 11 year old son, had a game in Nearby Town. There was a lot of excitement surrounding the game; could we win without 6 of our players? All of the parents had memories of the last time we played Nearby Town~and they weren't pleasant memories. We assembled along the sidelines with nervousness buzzing in the air.  From the very start it was evident that these two teams were well-matched. It was exciting to watch! We cheered those boys on with, "Nice teamwork", "Hooya", "Keep up the good work, Purple" Very positive good stuff for adolescent boys to hear. And this is where it gets ugly (and the 120 pound weight starts settling on my shoulders).  The game ends & my son tells me, "Mom, their coach (Nearby Town coach) said something to me. He told me, "Hey goalie, maybe next time you will get the ball". " That's right the opposing coach mocked my goalie son, during a game, after he missed a penalty goal. I know what you are thinking, "That is so rude!".  I did something even more rude and I brushed off my son. I was caught up in the post-game emotion and I didn't want to confront what he had told me. Instead, I gathered my stuff & headed  to a post game snack with my family.


Later that evening my son's words started to settle on me. In my mind, I started to confront the coach's actions & words to my son. I thought about my competitive experiences and I realized that this was completely unacceptable behavior of a coach.


Now let me tell a bit about this team. They have been together for almost 4 years. Players have come & gone. The core team has stuck together. Off the field, you would never even  know that these boys are competitive. They are truly nice young men. They are sweet and kind. I am often greeted with hugs & smiles and many enthusiastic "Hi Mrs M!" s (ok, some of them do call me mom, too). Not exactly the type that would be ruthless on the soccer field.  They are the kind of kids that play fair.  


I am not much of a complainer (except to my husband, my Mom & my very close friends, cause a girl has to vent once in awhile). As I thought about those words of the Nearby Town coach, I realized that I should file a complaint. Do you know why? Because my son deserves better than being mocked and so does every child that competes against that Nearby Town team. 


As I was saying goodnight to my son last night, we had a little chat about the incident. He was still a bit mad. He said, "Mom, I took that negative energy and turned it into power!" Oh yes, he certainly did. Nearby Town  team had many goal attempts. It was almost dizzying. Mr. F. blocked every goal attempt from that comment on, with a lot help from his friends. Teamwork. Perserverance. Fair play. We won 4-2.


I am proud of the "boys". I am proud of our coach (who was verbally abused throughout the game by Nearby Town coach). I am proud of our parents for staying positive in an unwelcoming place. I am proud of my son. I am proud of myself for following through with the complaint.


So take that negative energy, you have been turned into power!


The weight has been lifted. 


Now you can call me soccer mom. I've earned it.


Mr. F is quite a good dancer! 

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18 comments:

  1. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Love it!
    Nothing like that kind of power!
    So glad you followed through. That coach obviously doesn't have a true love for the game....he just wants to win by trying to defeat the opposing players with his words.
    Glad it didn't work for him that time.

    Great pic of the 2 of you!

    Now I'm off to my sons baseball game.

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  2. Thanks for your fun comment on my blog. Yes, it's me again. After I write this I REALLY need to get off of the computer and be productive. :) Can't wait to see your house images. Sounds wonderful.
    Pamela

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  3. Brilliant post, Cathy!! You read my post about hockey season, so I feel your pain when something like that happens. You expect to hear smack talk from the other team's players, but the coaches should be fired on the spot for such behavior. Good for you for filing a complaint, and hope there are consequences. Mr. F sounds like a stellar young man....you helped shape him! xo!

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  4. "Mom, I took that negative energy and turned it into power!"
    That statement is quite profound for an 11 year old! It never ceases to amaze me how many grown adults don't even understand this very simple concept.

    Now...what is wrong with that team coach!? I could write an entire blog dedicated to dealing with folks that do that sort of stuff, to children, nonetheless. I'll take the negative energy and turn it into power! :))

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  5. love that photo...adorable...thanks for the fun call and the button looks good lol we need to get yours going girl you are catching up to me ... suzanne.

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  6. I haven't had to deal with these issues yet as my son is only a toddler, but I hope that when comfronted with a cituation like this I will handle it with as much grace as you did. Great job!

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  7. Following from The Creative Girl's New Friend Friday.

    Stop by and enter a giveaway for a Rachael Ray Bakeware set:
    http://extremepersonalmeasures.blogspot.com/2010/04/do-you-know-about-family-of-csn-stores.html

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  8. great post! I'm your newest follower from New Friend Friday. I would be honored if you choose to do the same!

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  9. Hurray, wonderful words, very wise of your son. I'm glad they beat those other guys, imagine what practice must be like for them? I wouldn't be able to keep my mouth shut if that happened to one of my daughters!
    Thanks for visiting the other day, sorry it took me so long to get by to say hi! I hope you'll stop by again, soon!
    Have a great weekend.
    XO
    Heidi - Heart and Home

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  10. Hi there. I found your blog indirectly through Friday Follow. If you are interested in becoming a follower of my blog, I will happily follow yours.

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  11. I'm a new Friday Follower! Visit me at http://www.rockindeals4you.com/?p=2462 and sign up for my newest giveaway!

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  12. I am stopping by from New Friend Friday! I am excited to be your newest follower!

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  13. Stopping by from New Friend Friday. I'm following you now! Hope you can stop by and follow me, too. :)

    http://tweepoppets.blogspot.com
    http://twitter.com/tweepoppets

    By the way, I'm starting a NEW BLOG HOP!!! It's called Tuesday Tag-Along, and it premieres this coming Tuesday! I hope you'll be there to join in the fun!

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  14. Thanks for your visit to my blog and I am SO jealous you were staying by the Arc! Enjoyed your writing and love your the photo of you and your little man. (-:

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  15. Hi Cathy,
    As a mom of a soccer goalie over the past five years, I know how hard the position is for the parent. Their one mistake can make the difference of a win or loss. We also used to play a team that became quite aggressive, not only verbally but physically, my daughter had a huge bump on her head to prove it. Thankfully our coach was aware of the history and because both teams were from our club went into the "older" girls dressing room and told them he wanted a clean game. True to his word, when they started losing and became he chippy, he walked onto the pitch and called the game. Just stopped it and walked off with the team. I will always remember it. We had a great coach,
    Dana

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  16. It has been great fun getting to 'know' you through your blog. I so relate to your aversion to being labeled a soccer mom, in fact, I blogged about it :) http://amy-newnostalgia.blogspot.com/2009/09/soccer-sunday.html
    I am so very impressed with your boy, such great insight... he must have a great mom:)
    ps..you are a smokin' soccer mom, great picture dancing with your handsome boy..

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  17. Thank you for the comments. I haven't quite figured out how to link up or where would be a good start to linking up. Linking will definitely happen just as soon as I can get over being "technologically challenged". lol-

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  18. ooooh- i am sooo glad you found me on 'this' post!!
    thanks for popping over to mine & i came right back to say hi- & i see that you are a mother of my same mould!! how proud were you of your son- i'm proud of him!! i have a 9 year old superstar soccer player {they call it football here in old blighty}- and he is the first to pull up anyone that brings anything negative to the pitch- we encourage our team to let us know what 'the other coach' says- just to re-inforce that it is a team sport- and not the end-of-the world...some coaches have just missed their expirey date!!!! i think our sol would have a ball playing with your son!
    melissa x

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